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The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is in Beijing today in talks with the Chinese government over the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
China’s National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said Sunday that “Little is known about the virus that has an incubation period that can range from one to 14 days”.
Minister Ma said “The virus is infectious during the incubation period, and spreads more easily. Infections are expected to continue to rise.”
The health emergency has overwhelmed Wuhan’s hospitals. China has flown in more than half a million medical staff in the areas of prevention, control and treatment operations in the province.
Two new makeshift hospitals are being built in the city and factories are rushing to produce masks and protective clothing.
Ontario has now reported its second case of Wuhan novel coronavirus. In the United States, authorities confirm that a traveler from the Chinese city of Wuhan is the third person to test positive for the virus. The patient is in southern California.
There are 44 reported cases outside of China. Those cases are in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Nepal, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S., and Vietnam.
In Wuhan, the United States, Russia, and France are taking steps to evacuate their diplomatic staff.
Canadian Consular Officials Monitoring Situation – Minister
In Canada, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“The safety and security of Canadians abroad is our top priority. Since January 22, Chinese authorities have restricted non-essential travel to and from the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province in China as a result of the spread of coronavirus.
“We understand the concerns of Canadians in the region and those of their families and loved ones. We are in contact with and providing assistance to Canadians currently on the ground.
“Canadian consular officials are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with local authorities and our international partners to gather more information and provide support to the extent possible. Canada does not have a consular presence in Wuhan.
“We continue to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to the province of Hubei, China, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang, and Ezhou, due to the heavy travel restrictions that have been imposed. Canadians should check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories for China before traveling.
“Canadians in the region are encouraged to sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service at travel.gc.ca/registration. This will allow them to receive the latest updates from the Government of Canada.
“Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada to China in Beijing at 86 (10) 5139-4000. Canadians can also call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Minister of Health Statement on First Reported Case in Canada
Minister of Health Patty Hajdu issued the following statement:
“The Province of Ontario informed the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) earlier this afternoon that they have a presumptive confirmed travel-related case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The patient, who recently returned from Wuhan, China, is isolated and under care in hospital. All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. This makes it the first case in Canada, pending confirmation of the result by PHAC’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
The Government of Canada has been working closely with provincial and territorial counterparts, and international partners, since China first reported 2019-nCoV cases to ensure that our country is prepared to limit the spread of 2019-nCoV in Canada. Canadian hospitals have strong infection control systems and procedures in place to limit the spread of infection and protect health care workers.
Measures to mitigate the risk of introduction and spread of diseases like the new coronavirus in Canada are in place, including messaging on arrival screens at the Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver international airports reminding travelers to inform a Border Services Officer if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, and an additional health screening question on electronic kiosks used by international travelers.
While the risk of an outbreak of novel coronavirus in Canada remains low, I encourage Canadians to tell your health care professional if you have traveled to an affected area of China and develop flu-like symptoms. You can find more information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus online at Canada.ca/coronavirus.”